Collect the information on this car accident checklist before you leave the scene of an accident!
It doesn't matter if you've been driving for years or just a few weeks. Your friends could consider you the best driver or your family may think you're the worst. Car accidents happen all of the time. Drivers get distracted, emergencies happen, and car parts malfunction. If you get in an accident, follow our tips and collect all the information on our car accident checklist.
If you're in an accident, there are a few things you need to do right away:
Stay where you are, but move to a safe location
Never leave the scene of an accident without exchanging insurance information, especially if there is major damage to your person or your car.
If you were hit by another car and the driver flees the scene of the accident without stopping—or refuses to share information—try to get as much information about the car as you can. Important facts you can collect are the color, make, and model of the car. Don't forget to write down the license plate number and state. If you were able to clearly see the driver, take notes on his or her appearance as well.
If your car is blocking traffic or is in the road and you're able to drive it safely, pull over to the side of the road and secure your car. If your car is unable to move but you are able to get to safety, do so immediately.
Call 911 or the police station to report the accident
If there are any injuries, contact 911 immediately. Doing this will alert both the police authorities and the emergency responders. If no one is injured, you can contact the local police station directly.
If you have a smartphone, take photos of the scene of the accident. You'll want to take pictures of your car, the other driver's car, any property damage, and other relevant pictures. If you don't have a phone that allows you to take clear pictures, invest the money in a throw-away camera to store in your glove box in case of emergency.
Be sure to exchange information with the other drivers
After your car is safely out of the roadway and the authorities have been notified, it's time to exchange information with the other drivers. Here’s the detailed information that you need to collect. Remember, if you're involved in an accident with more than one other vehicle, you should collect this information from the driver of each car involved. Some drivers don't feel comfortable sharing their home address or phone number. That's okay as long as you have the rest of their information.
Date of accident:
Time of accident:
Responding police officer's name and badge number:
Driver's license state and number:
Driver's address (street, city, state, zip):
Driver's phone number:
Vehicle plate number and state:
Year, make, and model of vehicle:
Names and contact information of passengers (if any):
Names and contact information of witnesses (if any):
Don't forget these important tips
Once you've exchanged information, there are still a few items to complete on your car accident checklist.
Get your car towed
If you aren't able to drive your car away from the accident, you'll need to arrange for a towing company to pick up your car and transport it to an auto body shop. If you aren't sure who to call or are too shaken up to even think about towing, the police officer on duty can help you. They usually tend to work with the same towing companies who will then tow your car to a local auto shop or towing yard. Just remember, if you are in an accident in a location that isn't close to your home, you'll need to arrange for an additional tow to get it fixed locally.
Connect with an auto body shop
Depending on the condition of your car, you may need to get it fixed. Do you know which auto body shop you plan to work with? If so, ask the tow truck driver on the scene to deliver your car to that location. If you were unable to connect with the driver, you might need to arrange for a second tow. First, contact your preferred auto body shop. They might have their own tow and will get your vehicle. If not, you'll need to request another tow to wherever your car is getting fixed.
If you aren't sure where to bring your car to get it fixed, Pekin Insurance can help. We can provide a list of local shops able to take care of your car. Since these companies are affiliated with the insurance company, they're usually able to expedite your claim.
Arrange for a rental car
Do you have rental car coverage on your auto insurance plan? (If not, consider adding it!) When your vehicle is getting fixed, you'll need to arrange for a rental car. Your insurance agent can suggest a few different rental companies for you to consider.
Contact your insurance company
Pekin Insurance is here to help you, especially in your time of need! We can take care of the important stuff. Download our mobile app now (iPhone and Android), and we'll take you step-by-step through the aftermath of an accident. If you forget to print out this car accident checklist and aren't sure what to do, we'll be there for you. Our Accident Assistant feature will walk you through every step; it will even remind you to take pictures!
Is there anything missing in our car accident checklist? If so, let us know in the comments. We'd love to hear from you!